Furore in Assembly over road
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- Published 15.01.10
Imphal, Jan. 14: The handing over of a 160km state highway in Churachandpur district to the BRO rocked the Manipur Assembly today forcing chief minister Ibobi Singh to intervene and assure that he would soon convene a meeting.
The issue was raised by two Opposition members from the district, T. Hangkhanpao and V. Hangkhanlian, who demanded that Guite Road, which connects the Churachandpur district headquarters and Mizoram, be handed over to the BRO, charging that the government had neglected the road for long.
The two MLAs informed the Assembly that a few days back around 20,000 residents carried out a “protest social service” along the road to improve its condition as a part of their efforts to highlight the government’s apathy.
“The condition of the road is so bad that a vehicle carrying the protesters to the social service area met with an accident and three of them were seriously injured. They are now in two Imphal hospitals,” Hangkhanlian told the House.
Works minister K. Ranjit Singh said the NEC gave Rs 82 crore for this road and the government spent Rs 50 crore on the improvement projects.
But student bodies and other NGOs did not allow the work to continue.
He said the cabinet already took the decision to hand over the work to the BRO, but it could not be done before the NEC-funded project was completed. The minister said the work would be handed over to the BRO after the entire fund provided by the council was spent. The minister’s reply evoked sharp reactions from the two members who said the government wanted to spend the money itself. This remark forced Ibobi Singh to intervene saying if the BRO was ready to take over, he would hand over the work.
along with remaining amount provided by the council.
After his repeated assurances failed to calm down the two members, Ibobi Singh proposed to convene a meeting of officials of the BRO, MLAs and leaders of the NGOs from Churachandpur to thrash out the issue. The two legislators accepted the proposal.